The collapse of UK based construction giant Carillion, as liquidators moved in 15 January 2018, raises initial questions over two big projects involving the company in Dubai.
Last March Expo 2020 Dubai awarded Al Futtaim Carillion (AFC) the contract to deliver the Theme districts and Public realm works at the World Expo site situated in Dubai South. According to UAE newspaper Gulf News, Carillion owns 49% of the AFC partnership.
The Expo 2020 Dubai event, organisers hope, will host around 180 nations and an international audience of millions.
Describing the event, an official Expo 2020 Dubai said: “Expo will provide visitors with the chance to see spectacular architecture, merge with global cultures, examine thoughtful and thought provoking exhibitions, and taste food from every corner of the globe. Above all, visitors to the event will witness the very latest in thinking and technology all in one place and at one time. Expo will be an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience. We are preparing for an event that will enthral and amaze the many millions who visit, providing a sense of wonder at the ability of people, working together, to envisage and achieve a better tomorrow.”
The Carillion joint venture was appointed to construct a bespoke and unique phase of the World Expo development, which consists of 147,000sqm of single story basements and 98 pavilion buildings of up to storeys high, totalling a gross area of 220,000sqm, together with 99,000sqm of external works. The contract, worth approximately £490m (US$673m), was due to begin in March 2017 and is scheduled for full completion in mid-2019.
Carillion’s ex-chief executive Richard Howson, said at the time of the deal: “We are delighted to have been selected for this flagship project and to be supporting Expo 2020 Dubai in its ambition to demonstrate to the World, Dubai’s desire to lead economic growth and excellence internationally, in line with the vision of vice-president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”
Jon Bramley director – editor In Chief (English) – marketing & communication at Expo 2020 Dubai, tells CMW construction on the Theme Districts is well advanced and work is continuing as planned, however. “We do not anticipate any impact on project delivery and are on track to deliver a spectacular Expo on time and in budget.”
Another Carillion joint venture has a £160m contract for Phase 1A6 of the ONE CENTRAL Development by the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The major integrated real estate development located between the current Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre and Emirates Towers in the heart of the city’s Central Business District, could also be under threat following the liquidation of Carillion.
This latest phase of the ONE CENTRAL development has a built-up area of 182,500sqm and comprises two Grade A office buildings of 12 and 8 storeys. The £160m contract began in January 2017 and is scheduled for full completion at the end of 2018.
Other major projects in the Middle East have include the Dubai Festival City development, The Royal Opera House in Oman, a major phase of the Msheireb Downtown Doha project in Qatar and the Cairo Festival City development in Egypt.